The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD has announced the registration of 9, 216 (nine thousand two hundred and sixteen) pensioners of Nigeria Telecommunications Limited, NITEL on its Monthly Pension Payroll.
According to PTAD, the exercise will take place “at the end of October 2018”.
In January this year, the Directorate began the verification of pensioners of NITEL and its mobile subsidiary, Mobile Telecommunications Limited, MTel under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS). The exercise was slated to hold in some select venues across the six geopolitical zones of the country, but it was reportedly marred by irregularities as there were missing names from the list of pensioners compiled by the Federal Government for payment of gratuities which had been in use since 2006.
PTAD is an agency of the Federal Government which was established in August 2013 in compliance with the provisions of Section 30 sub-section (2) (a) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) of 2004 (amended in 2014) which stipulated the establishment of an independent pension department for the Public Service of the Federation.
It has the mandate to “manage the old pension scheme (DBS) for pensioners who retired on or before June 2007 and did not transit to the new Scheme” established by the PRA 2004 under Section 8.
It is made up of the following departments (Section 43 (3) of the Pension Reform Act): the Civil Service Pension Department, CSPD; the Police Pension Department, PPD; the Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Department, CIPPD; the Treasury Funded Parastatals Pension Department, PaPD; the Pension Support Services Department, PSSD.
Another Act of the National Assembly exempts the Military Pension Department, MPD and the Security Agencies Pension Department, SAPD from the consolidation and management of PTAD.
DBS was in existence before the introduction of the Pension Reform Act 2004.
Under DBS, pension is based on how many years a retiree had worked for their employer and the salaries they had earned. Some employers have handed over the administration of their DBS to some appointed Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs to manage, while others were given approval to continue to manage the Scheme under their management. The entitlement of any of those in the Scheme will be paid according to the rules and regulations guiding it.
Meanwhile, in its meeting on September 21, 2018, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP in the South-East lamented their retirement from the civil service, describing it as a curse because of the treatment meted out to them through the nonpayment of their pensions and other benefits.
They were particularly concerned about the welfare of their members in Imo State, where the state government had slashed pensions to 40 per cent and owed pensioners ₦56.4bn in arrears as of March 2018.
They also expressed their anger over the plight of their members on the payroll of some government establishments in Enugu State who were being owed pensions and other entitlements.
On September 20, 2018, members of Nigeria’s national carrier, Nigeria Airways branch of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners prevented the Acting Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed from gaining entry into her office.
They were on a peaceful protest to demand the payment of their 14-year pension arrears.